George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Massachusetts Delegates, 16 May 1776

From the Massachusetts Delegates

Philadelphia May 16. 1776


Congress, yesterday appointed General Gates a Major General and Mr Mifflin a Brigadier General, in the Continental Army, and ordered the Five Battallions in the Massachusetts Bay to be compleated to their full Compliments and three Additional Battallions to be raised forthwith, in the Eastern Department, and further have requested your Excellency to send a Major General and Brigadier General to take the Command, in that Department.1

We presume not to judge of the Exigencies of the public service, so far as to suggest any Plan of ours, for your Consideration, any further than to assure your Excellency that no Officers in the service would be more agreable to Us, and We have Reason to believe to our Constituents, to take the Command in that Department, than the Generals Gates and Mifflin. We are, sir, with great Esteem and Respect Your Excellencies Friends and most obedient humble servants

John Hancock John Adams
Samuel Adams R. T. Paine
Elbridge Gerry

LS, in John Adams’s writing, PHi: Gratz Collection.

1Gates and Mifflin were promoted on this date, and the resolutions directing the raising of the additional regiments for the eastern department and the sending of the generals there were approved on 14 May (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:355–56, 359; see also Samuel Adams to GW, 15 May, and Hancock to GW, this date). Congress ordered Gates to Canada on 17 June, and Maj. Gen. Artemas Ward continued to command in the eastern department.

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